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The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz : a review

We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts about The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz.

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This is the true story of Sara Leibovits and the incredible pain and hardships she went through during her time in the death camp. Despite the horrors she faced, she always tried to maintain her family’s values of courage, faith and kindness to others.

In this compelling memoir, Sara’s story is intertwined with that of her daughter, Eti Elboim. Seventy years after the horrors of the Holocaust, Eti reveals the inherited trauma of the second generation and completes the Holocaust survivor’s tale.

book cover for The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz.  A young girl is sitting on an oversized swing with chains made of barbed wire

The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz by Sara Leibovits and Eti Elboim translated by Esther Frumkin

  • Category : Memoir
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ One More Chapter (14 Sept. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0008645965
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0008645960
  • Amazon | Waterstones

The imagery of the book cover is very powerful isn’t it!

The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz Summary

Poland, 1944The train slowed and halted with a squeal of the brakes. It felt like we waited in the carriage for an eternity, but eventually, the heavy doors opened, directly into the chaos outside.

Sara Leibovitz, a 16-year-old Jewish girl, was a passenger on the train with her family. They spent their final moments together on the platform in Auschwitz before their horrific fates were sealed. Sara’s mother and baby brothers were sent straight to their deaths. Her father was made to work in the Sonderkommando as one of the men forced to remove the bodies from the gas chambers, and was later executed. Sara survived.

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The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz Review

This memoir is told from both Sara’s viewpoint and that of her daughter Eti. The awful experiences Sara had at Auschwitz are recounted and her feelings at being the sole survivor from her family. Eti herself tries to come to terms with the history her family have had to endure and both their voices are powerful and strong. Their revisit to Auschwitz is poignant and important as it highlighted how they are survivors and nothing could take that away.

The subject matter is horrendous and though I have read a few books on the holocaust I am always totally stunned with disbelief that it occurred. I feel it is imperative that we continue to read about people’s experiences to ensure that it’s never repeated and I have nothing but respect, admiration and awe for this family.

The way The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz is written is beautiful and I feel privileged to have had a glimpse into Sara’s story. A must-read.

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About the Author

Eti Elboim is Sara Leibovitz’s youngest daughter and a writer, journalist, and playwright. As a second-generation Holocaust survivor, she completed a “Memorial Envoys” course from the Shem Olam Institute and became an advocate of her mother’s story.

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